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In God We (Must) Trust

 Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm: Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray, Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 765)

by Phyllis Kersten

When I was young, TV news anchor Walter Cronkite was the most trusted person in the nation. He surely seemed like someone we could count on as he came into our living rooms to tell us “that’s the way it is” every day.

In a Reader’s Digest poll to discover the “100 most trusted people in America today,” actor Tom Hanks was ranked number one. Hanks is a consummate actor, especially in films like Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan. But I can’t imagine placing all my trust in him or in others on the list either, like Judge Judy (ranked 28) or Dr. Phil (96). As a pastor, I find it interesting that Billy Graham (at 67) was the only clergyperson to make the list.

Where do we place our trust when it really counts?

Scripture plainly says trust is misplaced when we put it in our leaders, in any other human being (including ourselves), or in our wealth. Our true security lies elsewhere, in the God we know best in Jesus Christ.

What can we count on or expect when we trust in this God? For everything to always come out hunky- dory? Not really. To never have to struggle ever again? No, not that either. But the following vignettes of modern-day “widows of Zarephath,” in one way or another, give us a glimpse of what trust in God and God’s faithfulness can look like in various situations.

The Rev. Phyllis Kersten is a retired ELCA pastor from Forest Park, Ill. She was a co-author of the 1990 Women of the ELCA Bible study, “Companions on Your Journey.”

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